Letters: Wednesday, April 27, 2005
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Air Truth

To the editor: Tracy Everbach (Second Thought, April 20, 2005), asked “Who cares if Air America is liberal if it’s just more trash talk?” I do, and you should, too.
Her piece accuses the Air America on-air personalities of being belligerent and petty and of spewing the same one-sided dreck as the right-wing talk shows. I have listened to many hours of Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly, Franken, and Rhodes. Ms. Everbach fails to mention a significant difference between hosts from the left and hosts from the right. I have not yet heard the liberal hosts, Franken or Rhodes, deliberately mislead or lie to their listeners. On the other hand, Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly mislead and lie to their listeners on a daily basis.
Ms. Everbach also deems that AAR is not truly progressive because it is not “a medium offering independent, original, open, and thought-provoking points of view.” She feels that NPR better fits the definition, but NPR is rarely independent or original, since most of the news it reports is sourced from outside NPR. Those sources are typically from the mainstream and can be easily found elsewhere. A report, “How Public is Public Radio?” by the group Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), touched on this issue. To its credit, NPR does a much more thorough job of reporting the news than any other radio network. One could argue that a media organization cannot be truly progressive if it is commercial or politically oriented. However, in today’s political and ideological climate, I think AAR comes the closest to meeting the criteria. Beneath the comedy and occasional insults, there are ideas and facts that are not being voiced by any other national radio network.
So why should you care whether AAR is liberal? Because millions of listeners tune in to right-wing radio every day and believe what they hear, true or not. In addition, the mainstream media is falling flat when it comes to being a watchdog on government. This country needs a popular voice for the other side of the aisle — a media outlet that will air the misdeeds of a Republican government. Now we have one. I encourage Ms. Everbach to listen again to an AAR show and a right-wing show for at least a few weeks. It’s not the shtick that’s really important here, it’s the message.


Darian Carr, Richardson

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